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Passing of Professor Georg Iggers

An elderly white man with white hair looks into the camera

Professor Georg Iggers, 1926-2017

UB History is terribly saddened to announce the passing of long-time faculty member, SUNY Distinguished Professor Emeritus Georg Iggers, on Sunday, November 26. Professor Iggers fled Nazi Germany in 1938, and earned a PhD from the University of Chicago. He arrived at UB in 1965, where he taught European intellectual history

Two men standing side by side, one is a elderly man with white hair and the other is a tall thin man with dark hair and glasses

Professor Iggers with Professor Andreas Daum in 2007

until 2007. Professor Iggers was a life-long activist for civil rights, working with the NAACP and helping to shape the lawsuit that eventually desegregated the Little Rock school district. In 1953, Iggers became the first white man inducted into the Phi Beta Sigma fraternity for his work in the effort of the Civil Rights movement. (An oral history with Professor Iggers, conducted by a Phi Beta Sigma brother, can be found here.)

In 1968, he published his first book, entitled The German Conception of

A black and white image of a white man with dark hair wearing dark glasses looking into the camera

Professor Georg Iggers, ca 1960

History, followed by New Directions in European Historiography, Historiography in the Twentieth Century, and A Global History of Modern Historiography, co-authored with Qinjia Edward Wang and Supriya Mukherjee. In 2006, he co-wrote a memoir, Two Lives in Uncertain Times: Facing the Challenges of the 20th Century as Scholars and Citizens, with his wife, Wilma Iggers, professor emerita of modern languages at Canisius College, reflecting on how their lives as scholars and citizens intersected with some of the most important moments of the 20th century. These works have been translated into 14 languages. Professor Iggers’s work was supported by fellowships from the American Philosophical Society, the Fulbright Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Guggenheim Foundation.

A woman wearing dark clothes smiles and looks into the camera while a white man wearing dark clothes and glasses smiles and looks at her

Georg and Wilma, 1959




He is survived by his wife Wilma and their three sons.

Obituaries and tributes to Professor Iggers appeared in The Buffalo News and UB Now. The Buffalo chapter of the NAACP also shared a tribute.